• Project No 3050
  • Project Name Assigning and maintaining appropriate pathogen LRVs in MBRs
  • Lead Organisation Water Research Australia
  • Research Lead UNSW Sydney
  • Main Researcher A/Prof Pierre Le Clech
  • Completion Year 2024

Project Description

Traditionally, Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) Validation is focussed on performance during commissioning when membranes are new, and the range of operating conditions are limited. As membranes age it is important to understand how MBR performance changes to have confidence in the quality of the water produced. Gathering data on the relationships between operational monitoring parameters such as turbidity and pathogen removal during the life of membranes would assist operators to understand the ongoing performance of membranes compared with initial performance.

The former Water Recycling Centre of Excellence developed the MBR Validation Protocol. This protocol was prepared as part of NatVal to provide guidance for the validation of MBRs. It proposed a tiered approach that allowed for a simplified process where log reduction values (LRVs) are claimed.

This project aims to understand the pathogen LRV performance of MBRs in relation to operating conditions and monitoring parameters. This will be achieved by collecting and analysing performance data from a broad range of operating MBR facilities in Australia. MBR operational parameter trends, direct performance measurements and existing LRV measurements over the life of the MBRs will be targeted and analysed to identify surrogate measurements and/or correlations with operating parameters. The results of this project will directly contribute to the development of safe and realistic validation protocols and build on the outcomes of the WaterVal program.

The completed report is a literature review of previous research to understand the relationship between operational monitoring parameters, operational control, membrane integrity, and actual membrane pathogen removal efficiency in MBRs.